Lady Cats face tough road test
Darrel Ray remembers taking his Clovis High volleyball team on the long trip to Las Cruces High two years ago for a Class 5A regional round match against the eventual state champion Lady Bulldawgs.
CHS is faced with that task again this week, making the trek to face Cruces in a round-of-eight match set for 7 p.m. Saturday.
“We don’t like to have to get on that bus and play somebody, especially that good,” Ray said. “That’s one advantage you don’t want to give to somebody.”
Still, he thinks the Lady Wildcats (18-4) won’t be nearly as overmatched as they were in 2001, when they lost in three games.
“We were just too young and didn’t have the talent to match up with that team,” Ray said. “This year we feel pretty good about our chances to go down there and trade games with them.”
The Lady Cats have an idea of what they’ll face, having scrimmaged Cruces (16-7) in the preseason.
“They had hard servers,” sophomore outside hitter Aimee Hilburn recalled. “They’re pretty good, but I know we can beat them.
“It’s going to be pretty tough just getting off the bus and playing, but I think we can do it.”
The Lady Cats expect to see a better team than the one they faced in August.
“We have film coming in on them today (Thursday), and we also scouted them the weekend we were in Albuquerque to play Manzano,” Ray said. “They’re very experienced. When we were there earlier every one of them had a club (team) shirt on from somewhere.”
Saturday’s three-game loss at the hands of Eldorado in the District 4-5A tournament championship was disappointing, but the Lady Cats are trying to move on.
“We didn’t play as well as we had before when we played Eldorado (during the regular season),” junior outside hitter Roxanne Luera said. “We just couldn’t get a run going against them.”